Archive for January, 2012


I recently made an observation in gratitude to my friend, Rick.  It started out something like this:

“Thank you for making me feel valued while we were getting to know each other. I’m grateful you took the time to ask me questions about myself and took an interest in what I had to say and share.  It’s clear to me now that I felt like your equal, like you cared about what I’ve experienced, tried to put yourself in my shoes, and were willing to try to see things through my eyes, so you could understand who I am and how I got here.  I’ve never felt talked down to, or talked AT, irrelevant, unheard or unfelt.  Even when we don’t agree, you’ve never made me feel wrong for having an opinion or experience that differs from yours.  You always speak from your heart or your gut when I ask you something and you give me honest and well-thought out answers.  You remember things we’ve discussed long after the conversation is over.  You ask me questions that make me feel like you’ve been paying attention, like what I think and feel matters to you and you are willing to mesh the answers with your experience for a greater understanding of me and of women in general. You care enough about me to want the best for me and I can feel it in how we relate to each other.  I really appreciate that in a man because it’s entirely too rare.  Your ex is an idiot if she thinks she’s going to find someone MORE thoughtful.”

Has this ever happened to YOU?  Yeah, me neither, at least not very often.  When it does, it’s definitely noticeable.  My typical experience with men looks a lot different.  It’s like my generation of women and the ones before it brought with us the, “seen and not heard” mentality of the people who raised us, like what we look like on the outside is paramount to who we are on the inside, or what we feel, or have to say about our experience as women.  We tend to automatically try to picture ourselves in some man’s world (or him in ours) before we consider whether we know enough about him to even like him as a person.  We give him value before he bestows any upon us, or shows us through his actions (not words) that he’s interested in anything about us besides getting in our knickers.  Why do we do that?  Why would someone as beautiful, as intelligent, as loving and as courageous as you, put aside everything that you are for a little bit of flattery and a slap on the ass from someone who isn’t interested enough in what makes you tick to want to know about it?  I’m not talking about your favorite color or movie or song.  I’m talking about your essence, your being, the things that set you apart from any other woman that he sees and is attracted to.  Because if he can’t tell that you’re special and unique and amazing, why would you want him in your life, or your bed or your future?  Why would you settle for someone who can’t SEE you?

I’ll tell you why.  Because we’re not accustomed to our inner selves being the main event.  We’re accustomed to generations of men who have gotten lazy and shifted most of their ‘relationship’ focus to their visual perception and how that looks sexually.  Many men (and women now) have no idea how to carry their end of the relationship once that objective has been reached.  On our end, thanks to the media and corporate branding, we females are constantly comparing ourselves to supermodels,  movie and porn stars and coming up lacking.  We judge ourselves by what our ass looks like in the mirror instead of by our character, by our capacity for loving.  We see ourselves weak and them strong.  We reject the feminine qualities of compassion, nurturing, empathy and sentimentality and strive to keep up with the boys at their own game, so we can understand them, to fit in.  We sacrifice integrity and honor on the altar of sexual attractiveness, to get a man, and then we’re all ass-hurt when he wanders off with the next fantasy girl.  It’s not just on them.  Both genders are in denial here.  We, because we think if we can just reel him in close enough with attraction that he’ll eventually see who we are inside, our worth as a partner, and love us, and they because they think loving someone has anything to do with whatever’s in their pants.  And we’ve allowed that to be the status quo for far too long because many of us would rather be in a relationship with someone who marginally cares about us and helps pay the bills than do the hard work of developing a relationship with ourselves and reaching for the kind of love experience that mirrors the value we place upon our new and improved selves.  It’s up to us to teach them the difference between a steady piece of ass and a love relationship.  Sadly we’ve been dropping the ball for a long time.  We’re so caught up in this pay-per-view relationship illusion that we’ve been sold that we’re not in touch with what matters to us.  We sell ourselves short in three ways:

  • The Dangerous Type – We’re attracted to ‘danger’.  There’s a reason you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you hear from him (or not).  That’s your intuition telling you the shit is gonna hit the fan.  We turn ourselves inside out to keep him around because we think we need that feeling in our lives, we mistake it for something called Love.  It’s not love, it’s an addiction.  It’s co-dependency disguised as butterflies.  We’re addicted to them and they’re addicted to…something that’s not us.  We’re all surprised and victimized when we get burned, or drowned, or our life implodes on us because we’ve centered it around this guy.   Then we have all this drama and chaos to contend with and share with our friends so we can all commiserate about how rotten men are.  We build styrofoam walls around us to keep this type out of our lives… until we choose the same guy again…
  • Let it Please Be Him – This is the pseudo relationship where you feel kind of warm and fuzzy about a man, but not quite ‘there’.  He says and does all the right things and you like him but he’s not quite tripping your trigger and you talk yourself into committing to him anyway.  Hey, he thinks he’s in love with you (even though you barely know each other) and that might be good enough, because he’s obviously seeing something in you that you don’t.  You’re right.  He’s seeing what he wants to see, which may have little or nothing to do with who you are.  He can’t love you, he doesn’t know you.  But he wants to love you, and you desperately want to be loved, so you decide it’s ok enough and you’ll fake it til you make it.  Except after a while you’re feeling guilty because you’re still faking it, and you’re feeling obligated to make ‘it’ work because you don’t want to disappoint this sweet man who clearly loves you so much, despite the fact that you haven’t had a meaningful interaction in months.  You feel invisible, unheard, unseen, because he’s not in love with you, he’s in love with going through the motions.  By the way, you’re not in love with him either.  You never were.  You’re bored and apathetic and he suddenly notices the giant hot pink pachyderm under the afghan on your sofa and he feels deceived, oddly enough.  Go figure.  
  • Nice Guys Finish Last – Sometimes we actually find a decent guy who takes the time to get to know us and doesn’t want to rush us into the sack, but it’s imperative we sabotage that relationship because we don’t feel like we’re working hard enough to keep him.  It can’t be real if he isn’t primarily focused on macking on us, right?  Because DAMMIT, we’re mackable and he’s not playing by the rules.  Maybe he’s gay, or MAYBE he’s not ignoring us quite enough to make us feel desperately attached to him.  It would appear there’s something wrong with him, because he seems to like us better than cable AND he even has a life and his own interests when we’re not around.  Nope, too weird, he’s got to go.  A big meltdown over nothing should do the trick.  If he doesn’t get the hint, we’ll ratchet it up to every week and finally resort to cheating with a Dangerous Type to seal the deal.  That’ll show him.  Damn guys, can’t they see we don’t deserve their honest affection?  Sheesh, slow learners…

We have been trained and we have trained men to discount the things that make us shine as individuals and to promote that which he can get from half the human population.   We have lied to ourselves and lied to them so we don’t have to feel alone.  Why?  Because we pay too much attention to the messages outside of ourselves and not enough attention to what’s being said inside.  If we approved of ourselves, we wouldn’t need validation from anyone else.  If we found and focused on the things we love about ourselves, we wouldn’t need proof that we’re lovable from someone with a penis.  If we forgave ourselves for making mistakes, we wouldn’t need to prove our unworthiness by making the same mistakes over and over again.  Step up.  Get real.    Deal with your abandonment issues.  Accept rejection as a culling process, saving you from the experience of loving someone who can’t or won’t love you back.  Take care of you, as if you were your own best friend, so you don’t need someone else to do it.  Take an interest in yourself and decide who you want to be and go after your ideal self.  If we defined our values and were brave enough to live them, we would attract partners who are courageous and real enough to meet us there on common ground.  But we have to start the process and raise the bar.  We only reduce ourselves when we refuse to dare to live out loud, to be who we are from where we are in life, unapologetically.  We don’t need all the boys to like us, just the ones that have the presence to appreciate the woman we have come to be, through our own life experience.  Who we are is a culmination of everything we’ve loved, lost, learned, struggled with and overcome.  You’ve put a lifetime of work into your life story.  Give it a happy ending.  Leave the sharks to the shark bait.  They’ll get tired of being chewed up eventually and come around.  I did, and actually lived to tell about it.  Stop living the lie.  Make adjustments as necessary until you know which feelings are yours and which are cultural programming or family patterns.  Be who YOU are, not some stupid imitation of some vapid ego, manifesting itself as a role model from the tv screen or magazine pages.  You are so much more than you believe.  The more you love you, the more love will find its way to you, without your effort.  Believe it.  Be it.

…And when you meet a man who values you without your having to ‘earn’ it, who can demonstrate his appreciation for the woman of substance that you are… make sure you acknowledge him for that, so he’ll continue to do it, and pass it on to the next generation.  There are good men out there, who are worthy of your love, respect, admiration and loyalty.  Make sure you are the kind of woman who is worthy of them.  And if you can’t bring yourself to fight your way out of that generic box you’ve sealed yourself in to conform with the ridiculous illusion our culture is framed in, don’t blame the men in your life for not being able to see past your wrapper.

∞E

© girlslikefastcars2 January 2012

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One of the nicest things you can do for yourself is make time to relive memories of times that made you feel GOOD.  

∞E

Options

We start out in this life with so many options available to us.  As we move through our experience and we make choices, some of those options start to fall away.  Some of the things you accepted about yourself evolve and some of your choices teach you new things about yourself and how you relate to other people.  What used to feel true and familiar and right to you becomes something you want to reach beyond, to a new face of familiarity, something even more right, something that challenges you to grow into it and make it your new home, something transformative and magic.  Once you get a taste of the magic, nothing else comes close.  You can’t settle for where you’ve been before, you can’t be at peace with your former norm.  You leave your field of options behind you and focus only on those things that grab you by the soul and hurl you into the depths of the unknown.  No security, no lifeline, just you and your conscious creation of your new experience while the past burns in your wake and is resigned to be mere charred stepping stones to the you you are becoming.  Sometimes you linger too long in the past.  You get burned by your indecision, but the heat pushes you to a new level of understanding and peace and clarity and then you only go back to the scene of the fire for information, like an arson investigator searching for the cause, the flashpoint.  Once that information is available to you, you can’t delude yourself anymore, you save your game and you never go back to that level.   Only then do your options begin to expand again.

As I’m sitting here on New Years Eve, 2011, pondering the events of the past year, I find myself feeling decidedly empty.  I haven’t ever been in this particular place before, especially at the beginning of a new year.  The house that is my soul has been burned out, the dozer has been here to push it all into a pile and the Mack truck that hit me has taken away all the debris.  This property is now ready for the new owner.  Who that is, I don’t know yet.  I guess she moves in tomorrow.

Last year was one of the best years of my life and also one of the worst.  The highs were exceedingly high, the lows the lowest I can remember.  I made several new friends, some of them I am sure to keep for the rest of my life, they’ve become that important in such a short time.  I opened myself up to closer connections with some of my oldest friends and I discovered who my real friends were.  I allowed myself to accept support and lean on those friendships when I needed to.  I put some distance between myself and some people who were taking up space and weren’t adding value to my life, and I’m good with that decision.

I fell in love twice, hard.  The first time I lost my sense of self.  The second time I found it again.  I experienced an unusually thick soup of synchronicity, catharsis and growth both times.   I loved deeper and more openly than I ever had before.  I accepted love, I embraced loving, I gave freely.  I fell in love with someone’s children and it ripped my heart out when we broke up, x4.  I laid my soul bare, I shared my pain and was met with acceptance.  I extended some boundaries and I set some new ones.  I had the best sex of my life.  I lived in the moment when I remembered to and was grateful for the little things that made those relationships beautiful.  I wrote them down so I wouldn’t forget how I felt when I was loved.  I resolved to love unconditionally and in my heart I did.  My mind got to me a few times though.  I made some mistakes.  I disconnected and fed the ego some things that weren’t good for me.  Something interceded and saved me from holding on to either of them too long and I’m grateful for that.  They both looked fantastic on paper but my intuition was telling me different and I didn’t listen to it.  Now I know.  Both of those highly charged relationships ended as friendships.  Both of those men taught me priceless things that I wouldn’t have learned if I hadn’t known them, hadn’t allowed myself to go that deep.  I’m forever grateful for them, as painful as the endings were.  I wish them the best in their respective journeys.  They are two major components in my life story and ultimately what started the fire.

In 2011 I struggled with my faith.  I discovered that I wanted to believe in happy endings and deep healthy forever friendships, but that I didn’t really.  Maybe I haven’t judged myself worthy of those things, but I’m going to keep digging for that key to unlock the door to self-love and acceptance.  I learned to believe in people again, I fought to believe in myself.  I disappointed myself on several occasions and then I made up for it later.  I stood up for what I believe in and I learned to stand up for myself.  I struggled with security, financially and otherwise.  I learned that the only person I can ultimately depend on is me, so I’d better take care of myself.  I marinated in grief and despair alternating with joy and wonder and increasing compassion for the human condition.  I struggled with my past, beat myself up for things that had nothing to do with me, excavated around some old patterns and beliefs, left some behind, lost my abilities to think and feel, and found them again.    I felt, on several occasions, who I want to be.  She’s closer than I think, if I allow her to integrate and stay out of my head.  I cursed the Universe when I couldn’t see the path ahead and cried great heaving sobs of grateful understanding when the blinders came off.

It seems everything I thought I knew, everything I thought I had a handle on, everything I was comfortable with, went up in smoke in the last year and I’ve been frantically rebuilding while the fire was still burning at the foundations of me.  I’ve stopped construction now until the new blueprints get here.  What I do have is a lot of space to work with, a basic idea of what I want this to look like when it’s finished and hope.  I hope when it’s done I don’t fill it with junk, and baggage and pain again.  I hope I make better choices for the new owner, that she can settle in and relax knowing that she has a new foundation and that her house was built with the best intent, best materials and workmanship possible.  I hope it’s somewhere she can be the best version of herself and live the rest of her life making a better story.  I hope she’ll be happy here, and generous, and accept love and laughter into her life like oxygen, free and vital to her survival.  I hope she’ll grow a beautiful chaotic garden for herself, a place where she can thrive and grow unapologetically into the divine earth goddess/healer/teacher/lover/friend she is meant to be.  I hope she continues to believe in herself, I hope she finds love that lasts, and I hope that she has no regrets, ever.

∞E

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